Late-Race Wreck Takes Out Mix of Kansas Contendersby Kyle Pokrefky May 8, 2016 0 comments
KANSAS CITY, Kans. — With the loss of Martin Truex Jr. from race contention with 55 laps to go at Kansas Speedway on Saturday night, suddenly the Go Bowling 400 was up for grabs.
A restart with 28 laps to go became quite the frantic affair late in the 267-lap race as Kyle Busch, Kevin Harvick, Kurt Busch, Denny Hamlin, Brad Keselowski, Joey Logano and Kyle Larson duked it out for the lead.
The green-flag scramble didn’t last for long, however, as a three-wide move by Hamlin came as Keselowski’s No. 2 Ford became loose and sent both cars around, collecting Larson and Logano in the ensuing melee.
The resulting accident put Hamlin, Larson and Logano out of the race with respective 37th, 35th and 38th-place finishes. Keselowski, on the other hand, managed to recover from the incident and went on to finish 10th.
Hamlin gave his perspective of the Lap 242 accident, saying that the air helped get both his and Keselowski’s cars sideways.
“Me and the No. 2 got loose at the same time, I don’t think there was any contact, but the No. 42 was real close to me on the outside,” Hamlin stated. “I was driving in really deep there to try and clear him. Didn’t get him cleared and I knew if I didn’t get him clear then I would’ve put myself in a bad spot.”
Hamlin said his move to the middle was a product of him being afforded the opportunity to make more aggressive moves in the race.
With his win in the Daytona 500 in February, the driver of the No. 11 FedEx Freight Toyota is virtually locked in to this year’s Chase and could get away with making moves such as the one he made with no repercussions to his Chase status.
“I was just going for it,” Hamlin said. “We’ve got a win and it’s win or nothing with this type of format, so why not go in there and take a chance? Unfortunately, it didn’t work.”
In his take of the incident, Logano stated that he was unable to maneuver through the wreck as the smoke in front of him obscured his vision.
“It just looked like the No. 2 got loose and then the No. 11 got loose,” Logano said. “I was hoping the No. 11 would come down the hill and when you’re in the smoke you can’t see anything.
“I hit the wall, so I knew where that was and I just kept riding and riding and hoping the No. 11 would come down the hill because I couldn’t see and he stayed up there and I got him right in the door. It’s unfortunate. Our AAA Fusion was good.”
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